US-based players banner Gilas women aspirants

US-based players banner Gilas women aspirants

MANILA, Philippines – University of Washington’s Mai-Loni Henson and Westmont College’s Stefanie Berberabe headline the 12 players eyeing to crack the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team pool in a tryout for Filipino-American collegiate standouts this weekend in California.

Gilas head coach Pat Aquino and Fil-Am Nation Select founder Cris Gopez will oversee the tryout on June 4-5 in hope of expanding the women’s team pool with prized Fil-foreign additions.

Henson, a product of the Huskies in the US NCAA, just came off a pro league debut in France while Berberabe led Westmont’s title conquest of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), an association since 1940 for small colleges and universities with over 200 member schools.

In the same event, Gilas will launch a discussion with interested players regarding the process of securing documents to represent the country under FIBA eligibility rules.

Henson, for one, has just obtained her dual citizenship and is already available to suit up for the Nationals.

Chosen prospects from the tryout will join the Gilas pool for future tournaments led by its core players Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino and Janine Pontejos.

After more than a year of hiatus due to the pandemic, Gilas women’s team is preparing for the return of international events this year bannered by the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, FIBA Asia Cup and the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

Also gracing the tryout are Mel Isbell (New Mexico State), Gabby Rones (University of Nevada), Jessica Malzarte (Fresno Pacific), Kiera Oakry (University of San Diego), Kayla Revelo (University of Hawaii Hilo), Malia Bambrick (Pepperdine University), Lynette Garon (Southwestern College), Alina Daffon (Cal State Maritime), Erica Cray (Huston Tillotson University) and Nikki Villasin (North Park University).

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